October 16, 1919

L LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN:

No. The minister said a moment ago that the Government was not

going to transfer any of the stock that they acquired.

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

That is absolutely true. We acquire the voting stock, the controlling stock that makes us the owners of the whole Grand Trunk system. We keep that right here in the possession of the people of Canada. The holders of that stock, if they are awarded anything 'by the 'arbitration receive from us new non-voting certificates, or non-voting stock. But, surely, issuing a new stock is not transferring the old stock. The new stock is a different one altogether. We only issue a 4 per cent stock, which *to-day would sell in the neighbourhood of 70, and we issue it only for the value of the stock we acquire. The difference is clear profit to the people of Canada. I hope the hon. member understands that. He surely sees that the issue of the new non-voting stock to men who were the holders of the controlling interest-hearing stock is not transferring the old controlling interest-bearing stock-far from, it.

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UNION

John Archibald Campbell

Unionist

Mr. CAMPBELL:

How is it proposed to get the holders of the guaranteed stock to release their voting power?

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGLIEN:

They must do that before the transaction is binding upon the Covernment. The guaranted stockholders must themselves surrender that power, and until they do so the guarantee of the Government does not go into effect.

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UNION
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Yes, and it is a difficult matter. The voting power is an element of value highly prized, I am advised, by the holders of that stock, and the same is true* of all the stocks in connection with the road. In lieu of surrendering this voting power they get the guarantee of the Government only for their 4 per cent dividend.

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UNION

John Archibald Campbell

Unionist

Mr. CAMPBELL:

What would be the

situation if some of them refused to surrender t'heir voting power?

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Until that is done the agreement would not take effect. As I apprehend the legal position, it must all be surrendered before the agreement can take effect. We could not agree that we would go ahead and guarantee in respect of those who surrender their voting power and leave others in partial control of the road.

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UNION
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

He might, I -could- not say: but I do not think it is probable.

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L LIB
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Not yet, but that will be a ' subject to be taken care of in the agreement itself. Hon. gentlemen will see from the very pertinent query of my hon. friend (Mr. Campbell) that it is important that some special inducement be given to the holders of the stock who have this special element of value in it, the voting power, in order that the transaction will not be impeded or wholly destroyed by the obstinacy of some shareholders. Any voting power that is now resident in the holders of the debenture stock must also be given up. They in turn get perhaps a slight accretion to their stock, because it also is guaranteed. So the transaction is fair in every respect. Those men who inevitably get a little accretion of value to their stock have to give up in lieu thereof all the control they heretofore exercised in connection with the enterprise. That control is much more highly valued in the Mother Country than it is in Canada.

Now I come to another phase of the remarks of my hon. friend (Mr. Fielding). He is afraid, he says, of arbitration. Well, what plan does he suggest to get at the value when we cannot agree upon it? He is afraid of arbitration. Arbitration is not only the method employed in the past in similar transactions, one of which he referred to, but it is the method embedded in the legislation of this country everywhere in the case of acquirement of land or property. It is universally and historically recognized as the best, fairest, and the only way for determining disputed claims. Why is he afraid of an arbitration in connection with the Grand Trunk? What is the special reason attending the acquisition of the Grand Trunk railway that makes arbitration unsuited for the solution of the problem?

Mr. JACOBS- Why not liquidation instead?

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Liquidation? Well, the leader of the Opposition told us yesterday that it was a shameful and disgraceful thing to let the Grand Trunk Pacific go info a receivership. If that was disgraceful, what would he say of letting the Grand Trunk go into a receivership?

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I said the methods by which it was done were disgraceful, not the letting it go into a receivership. If my hon. friend will read my statement he will see I said I was not afraid of a receivership.

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I have repeated exactly what he said, that letting the Grand Trunk go into a receivership was disgraceful.

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L LIB
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

My hon. friend (Mr. Jacobs) says, why not let the Grand Trunk go into a receivership? Well, if hon. gentlemen will take that stand, and we know exactly where they are at, it is worth discussing. Why not let the Grand Trunk go into a receivership? Does the hon. gentleman know what would almost inevitably result if it did?

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

It would save us many

millions of dollars.

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

It would for us at the moment, and perhaps make many millions for the Canadian Pacific Railway. That would be one very probable result.

Mr. JACOBS': We would acquire the company.

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Why would not the Canadian Pacific acquire it?

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October 16, 1919